In person events like trade shows, conferences and conventions can be some of the best ways to make an impact on your target audience, expand your network and grow your revenue. But only if you’re approaching the event with the proper preparation, advanced planning and setting the right goals for your attendance.
On this special solo show I’ll explain what the biggest mistakes are that I see most presenters and exhibitors making at live events, how you can avoid them, how to attract the right people and how to know who they are. I’ll also explain what you need to do in advance of the event, and why these steps are critical.
There’s a lot of information in this one so get ready to take some notes, and then implement those notes during your next trade show, conference or convention.
Listen to this episode and discover:
- How to use predictive tools for greater results at trade shows.
- Are most people interested in your latest technology or feature?
- What is I3 and how can you use it?
- What is my catch and release program and why should you use it?
- How to engage someone who approaches your booth.
- And so much more…
By the time you get to an event your company has typically invested a small fortune just to have you there. From hotels to airfare to marketing materials and the booth itself, presenting your organization at live events can be costly. And because many people aren’t properly prepared an event doesn’t pay off as much as it could.
Too many organizations are content with the typical marketing department’s direction: get as many business cards as possible. The goal is to simply get there, talk to as many people as possible, gather as much information from as many of those people as possible and then follow up post-event.
But this is an ineffective approach, and one of the biggest mistakes I see people making when attending events. Rather than blindly gathering as many business cards as possible, take the time to prepare in advance. Know who is going to be there, and be willing to invest the capital to find out. Once you know who is attending you can send a note to potential attendees who might be a fit for you.
Simply let them know you solve several different problems (typically three) and explain from their website and their company history it looks like they may have a need for one of your solutions. Offer to set up a time to meet with them at the event to explore this further. If you peak their interest set up an appointment.
Now that you have the appointment continue to make it about them. When you meet with them be sure you are curious about them, and what makes them tick. Don’t focus on how you’re going to sell to them! We’re all pre-wired to not want to be sold to, so avoid doing it. Instead ask questions, get curious about them and engage them in a dialogue.
You can take it a step further and really create a memorable connection with them by setting up an off-site experience. For example my company once charted a whale-watching boat expedition for eight attendees of an event. We took them out on the Pacific Ocean and created a much different experience, and a much different connection with them then if we had simply spoken to them at our booth. We eventually did business with seven of the eight companies on the boat!
However you engage with them do it in a personal, human way. Attendees want to know how you can help solve their problems, they don’t care about your latest and greatest anything unless it solves a significant issue they are dealing with. If you can find out what that issue (or issues) are you’ll be in a much better position to discover if they are a good fit for you and if you can do business together.
Also on today’s episode I explain a surefire way to respect attendees’ time while still discovering if they are a match for what you do, what I mean by the catch and release program, and some of the things you should NOT be doing while attending a live event! There’s all of that and more on this edition of the show.
Below are resources mentioned during the interview.
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As always, this episode provides inspiration, entertainment, and an actionable message that can drive remarkable results. If you have any questions for a future episode, contact me.